Who needs to go to the movies? The best soundbar will turn your home into the ultimate personal theater. These speakers are the perfect antidote to the often tinny sound found in most TVs, and will let you hear every explosion, conversation and big sports play in full clarity.
While home theater setups can get extremely expensive, you can find some of the best soundbars for less than $200. Better yet, many soundbars include subwoofers for boosting the low end, and they also double as great music speakers thanks to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support.
Soundbars come in a variety of sizes and price ranges — from compact budget models to large, premium speakers that have a ton of advanced features. So no matter how much space you have in your entertainment center (or wallet), there's a soundbar for you. Some, like the new Roku Streambar, even have a built-in streaming device.
With tons of great home entertainment on the way this fall from movies to games, here are our picks for the best soundbars to buy now.
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What are the best soundbars?
Our pick for the best soundbar for the money is the Yamaha YAS-108, which offers a ton of great features for less than $200. Its compact design pumps out surprisingly loud sound, and it offers handy HDMI and 4K passthrough.
We're also fans of the Bose Soundbar 500, which delivers rich sound and support for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for a solid price, as well as the Roku Smart Soundbar, which packs a built-in 4K HDR Roku player. If budget isn't an issue, the $799 Sonos Arc is our favorite premium soundbar thanks to its gorgeous design and booming Dolby Atmos sound.
Here are all of the best soundbars you can buy right now.
The best soundbars you can buy today
The Yamaha YAS-108 offers an impressive amount of features for a $200 soundbar, including HDMI, 4K passthrough, a variety of sound modes and Bluetooth support for jamming out to music. It also packs excellent sound into its small design, offering crisp highs and satisfying bass thanks to built-in subwoofers that boost the low end without the need for additional speakers.
If you like to fine-tune, the YAS-108 packs several presets including 3D surround for maximum immersion and Clear Voice for upping the dialogue. It's rare you'll find this combination of features for the price, making the YAS-108 the best soundbar overall for those looking to stay within a $200 price point.
Read our full Yamaha YAS-108 review.
The Bose Soundbar 500 is an incredibly well-rounded package, offering rich sound, foolproof ease-of-use and support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for voice controls. The Soundbar 500's slim design fits seamlessly into most home entertainment setups, and supports HDMI ARC, which allows you to use the soundbar to control any device hooked up to your TV.
For a slim soundbar without a subwoofer, the Soundbar 500 delivers impressively crisp dialogue for movies and TV shows, and offers solid bass when you're thumping music via Bluetooth or AirPlay 2. Factor in reliable voice assistant controls and a painless setup process, and you've got the best soundbar in this price range.
Read our full Bose Soundbar 500 review.
The Sonos Arc is the best soundbar you can buy if you’re willing to splurge. This $799 premium speaker stands out with its gorgeous curved design, which is designed to be a centerpiece of your living room as much as it’s meant to enhance your TV’s sound. And it certainly doesn’t skimp on sound performance, delivering deep bass and clear treble for your favorite movies and TV shows complete with Dolby Atmos support.
Thanks to Sonos’ TruePlay technology, the Arc can automatically tune itself to whatever room it’s in to deliver the crispest, most accurate audio possible. It also supports voice controls via Alexa and Google Assistant, making it one of the smartest soundbars you can buy. If you have a larger entertainment area — and a large budget, the Sonos Arc is the top premium soundbar out there.
Read our full Sonos Arc review.
The Vizio SB2920 is the best soundbar value for the price, delivering an immersive soundstage, crisp treble and solid bass despite not having a subwoofer. The SB2920 delivers 95 dB of sound with support for DTS Studio SoundTM and DTS TruSurroudTM, making it great for folks who want to have a theater-esque experience on a budget.
Ideal for smaller TVs, this 28-inch soundbar also packs Bluetooth support for easy music streaming, and plenty of ways to connect. If you're looking to spend less than $100 on your next soundbar, or perhaps need a temporary solution, this is the one to buy. Better yet, no one would ever suspect you spent so little on it.
No soundbar packs huge audio into a tiny package quite like the Polk MagniFi Mini does. This unassuming speaker will fit seamlessly into any setup, and delivers crisp dialogue and deep bass with the help of its included wireless subwoofer. Plus, with Google Cast support, the MagniFi Mini doubles as a great home music speaker.
The MagniFi Mini gets loud enough to fill most bedrooms and small apartments, and we found it reliable for getting immersed in movies and shows. Factor in a handy remote and and an easy setup process, and you've got the best soundbar out there for folks short on space. And at $300, it won't set you back much, either.
Read our full Polk MagniFi Mini review.
The Yamaha YAS-209 is an excellent package for the price, getting you great overall sound, a wireless subwoofer for beefy bass and Alexa support for handy voice controls. The soundbar itself is one of the sleeker models we've tested, with a 36-inch design that should look great under most TVs.
The soundbar's four 1.75-inch drivers deliver immersive sound for movies and shows. What's more, the built in Alexa functionality makes it easy to control any smart device in your home — even when the soundbar is off. We wish there was more than just one HDMI port on the back, but even despite that nitpick, the YAS-209 offers a lot to like.
Read our full Yamaha YAS-209 review.
The Sonos Beam is a small, affordable and great-sounding soundbar that also doubles as a neat smart home gadget. This speaker has full Alexa integration, allowing you to, say, control your Fire TV with just your voice, or ask about the weather or control your smart lights while binging Netflix from the couch.
It also delivers big on the audio front for its price, with a wide soundstage and crisp dialogue that will make your favorite movies and shows sing. We'd really like the Beam to embrace Bluetooth (you'll need the Sonos Move for that), but it's still an excellent choice if you want an Alexa-ready soundbar with great performance.
Read our full Sonos Beam review.
If you're looking for an affordable soundbar and don't yet have a reliable streaming player, the Roku Smart Soundbar gives you both in the same package. This soundbar doubles as a fully-featured 4K HDR Roku player, giving you access to every top streaming app including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Apple TV.
The Smart Soundbar also delivers solid audio for the price, pumping out strong bass and crisp treble (you can pair it with the optional $180 Roku Wireless Subwoofer if you want more low end). Roku's soundbar even supports Alexa and Google Assistant for easy voice controls. While you'll get more refined sound from some of the higher-end speakers on this list, the Roku Smart Soundbar offers a compelling mix of sound quality and functionality for streaming junkies.
Read our full Roku Smart Soundbar review.
How to choose the best soundbar for you
There are a number of factors that play into deciding which soundbar you should buy. Size will likely be the most immediately prohibitive for most customers; you obviously need a soundbar that will suit your TV and space constraints within your entertainment console. And, because a soundbar is one of the centerpieces of your home theater setup, it has to look good and fit stylistically.
Then you have to factor in the size of the room you're dealing with, and the distance viewers would typically be sitting from the TV. If you're dealing with a larger space, it's probably best to target soundbars that come with a subwoofer — you'll surely appreciate the extra bass.
Ports and connectivity is crucial too, both in terms of wired and wireless access. Not every soundbar comes with an HDMI port; some force you to make do with optical audio. That's perfectly fine if you want to use your TV as a pass-through, but those who are in dire need of more HDMI ports — because their capacity is limited between game consoles, streaming boxes and so on — will need to prioritize options that offer those additional connections.
Finally, more and more of the best soundbars are embracing Dolby Atmos, which is a surround sound technology designed to simulate the immersive 3D audio you'd get from a movie theater. The big difference between Atmos and traditional surround sound is that you'll hear sound move up and down and not just side-to-side, allowing you to get extra immersed when, say, a car flies overhead in an action movie. There are already lots of soundbars that support Atmos, including the LG SJ9, Sony HT-ST5000, and Yamaha YSP-5600. For more on the technology, check out our complete guide to Dolby Atmos.
How we test soundbars
When testing for inclusion in our best soundbars page, we play a range of media — including movies, music and games — in order to evaluate overall sound quality. We also test any companion software that may come with a soundbar, and factor in how easy it is to set up and use each device.
Other features we consider include a soundbar's inputs, outputs and ability to be wall mounted, all of which determine how well it will work with your home entertainment setup. We also take into account each soundbar's wattage, its supported audio channels and whether it includes a subwoofer — all factors that greatly affect how each speaker will sound in your living room.